US-based LED lighting specialist EMTEQ has set its sights on current-generation Boeing 737 operators with a mixed fleet of aircraft with and without the airframer's "Sky Interior". Aircraft without the latter's bi-chromatic lighting design, which turns the ceiling panels into dark blue while the rest of the cabin is illuminated in white light, will appear dated to passengers versus their more recent siblings, says Ed Callahan, director global business development.
The company thus developed a lighting unit with separate white and blue LED rows as a drop-in replacement for the conventional light tubes. The new equipment does not require additional wiring or control panel modifications and uses the same connectors as the light tubes.
While it will not turn an older aircraft's cabin into a "Sky Interior", unless the other interiour furnishings are updated too, the LED lighting should reduce the difference between new and older aircraft, says Callahan.
Another advantage is weight reduction, because the LEDs do not require ballast to convert electricity for the conventional light tubes.
No orders have yet been placed, but the company is in talks with several airlines. Callahan expects a deal within the next two months. Supplemental type certification has also not been given yet, but would be arranged as soon as the first contract materialises, he adds.
EMTEC also developed an LED retrofit solution for Airbus A320-family aircraft as well as a mood lighting unit for a wide range of different types. The latter requires additional wiring and control panel modifications, however, to enable the cabin crew to set the mood with the colour and brightness changes.